Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Mohammad al Maghout

Gilgamesh confronting the Storm

This mythic Face Off 

These Face off have been going on since antiquity in our region

Important note: This is a liberal translation of an epic poem by late Syrian poet Mohammad al Maghout.

It was written over 30 years ago; way before Desert Storm on Iraq in 1991, as if a premonition.

And No, the Eagle does not represent a symbol to any State or tribe, religion, or any culture.

Excellent poets perceive invariants in human history and rephrase them in indelible images.

 

Epic story of Storm attacking Old Eagle

Waiting for the storm to hit

How could anyone cope with a storm?

What could you do in a desert storm?

 

Where is the storm?

It is on the horizon, hesitating;

A tramp at the hotel entrance.

 

Old eagle, maybe the last of his species,

Lonely, quiet, waiting for the storm;

A chauffeur waiting for his master.

 

Old eagle is tired of tasting occasional serene clouds;

An old chef tasting the remains of a banquet.

 

Queen storm is taking her time in front of the mirror.

Old eagle is ready to chase out the storm up front.

 

What could he do with a worn out beak?

A Decrepit beak and deformed from frequent shattering to pieces on rocks.

How could old eagle hurry to meet the storm?

A tottering bicycle crossing river bed?

 

For years, the white feathers of Eagle have been dirty;

Dirtier than an old waiter’s apron.

 

A gentle breeze nudging old eagle from rock to rock,

From plain to plain;

A bored old soldier in a camp

Anxious for his last battle, confronting a fly.

 

A soothing breeze floated over old eagle;

He fluttered, a youth touched by the first girl.

Old eagle heaves a sigh; he is reminiscing youth

 

Strong wings spanning the valley, glittering with sweat.

Tiny birds, out of breath, trailing valiantly behind,

Mobs running after the King’s horse,

 

Chants hoarse, hallelujah feeble.

Old eagle is dozing, in the scorching sun;

Epoch stretching out.

 

Suddenly, the universe blackened;

The world is still;

So still that the silence created religions out of fear;

 

Old eagle’s tail is waving.

Old eagle is hopping in circle;

A baby lamb welcoming its mother.

 

The storm thundered and hastened;

An ice skater showing off.

 

Old eagle is whispering an old victory song;

An eagle fallen off mountain tops,

A bride with no pendants and no cries.

 

Old eagle opened his old beak and retreated

In respect of his old master and teacher.

 

Old eagle is spinning amid his broken plumes,

His shouts clacking like rifle bullets

A mass of blood proudly lecturing

On the art of thirsting and ripping apart enemies.

 

The storm danced around old eagle and sneaked away.

Old eagle is mad; he is jumping cat-like;

A frightened baby stumbling for the door knob;

A drunkard coming back in the bar

Kicked out a hundred times and coming back.

 

Old eagle is wailing like a baby.

The storm lost steam on the sea-shore,

Medals and crowns scattered.

The bludgeoned face of a boxer;

A drunk washing his face.

 

Mighty storm is aching:

It recollects that a tiny creature fought to death.

Mighty storm is sprawled on the beach:

A monstrous tent shrinking to a headgear;

Tears dropping in eagle’s shape.

Note: After approving another half a dozen of my poems I sent this unpoetic voice site the following poem: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/puny-avatar-why-in-the-name-of-god/

It was approved and then immediately the site “suspended” me without providing reasons.

It is to be noted that the site never presented any constraints beforehand for joining or the kind of poems “satisfactory” to their “ideology”.

How have we been downgraded?

 Note: “Re-edit of “Downgraded Gypsy by late poet Mohammad al Maghout. Apr. 17, 2010)

I am a hero… Where’s my people?

I am a traitor… Where’s my scaffold?

I am a pair of shoes… Where’s my road?

I walk Downtown mixing with busy souls

I am in no hurry; the masses don’t carry me:

I am a leader and I am searching for my way.

I rest a while on the pavement; is it illegal?

I rest my eating tin plate by my side;

A learned to recognize the chimes of dimes and nickels falling in the plate

I don’t complain.

I say thanks when I feel reprieve, tired of my condition.

I am a downgraded gypsy who burned his caravan

Quitted my clan, lured by greed in the city.

I extend my arms feeling for a sheltered wall

What’s a clear stream to a blind deer?

What’s horizon to a caged bird?

My ears learned to screen off piercing sounds

I can’t hear the wailing of bereaved mothers

I can’t hear the howling of frenzied mobs

I hear the moaning of latent pains permeating the smog

I hear the soft whistling of permanent suffering

Converging from all directions

From far away scorched lands.

Slaves who chewed off their chains:

They are nostalgic for chains smelling molding bread.

Up North terrors; down South famine;

Dusty winds are clouding the east; and crows are obscuring the western horizon.

A little girl is sitting by this modern gypsy;

She dips her left small hand in a little bag and takes out a handful of dirt;

She grabs the dirt containing a strange specimen of earth wealth;

Dirt holding half a wing of a butterfly, a decapitated bee,

Shreds of shrapnel of cluster bombs,

A whiff of blood, a stench of urine;

Concentrated dirt of fear, human degradation,

Contaminated greed of a dying earth.

No more revolutions, no drastic changes,

No activities demanding Eternal God to extend a few human rights;

Mankind is on his knees, in abject humiliation

Begging pardon of his executioner

For the swiftest relief.

Note: I borrowed a few images from the late Syrian poet Mohammad al Maghout.

I shall name you Adam: the most neutral of names.

I shall Not burden you with any name that will harass you with bigot, racist and religious extremists.

The name on your passport will Not be a hindrance in your travel

No one will conjecture whether you are Christian or Muslim

Sunni or Shia

A foreigner or a local guy

I didn’t yet think of a name for a girl: Girls are still being buried alive

Image may contain: text

Downgraded Gypsy; (Apr. 17, 2010)

I am a hero… Where’s my people?

I am a traitor… Where’s my scaffold?

I am a pair of shoes… Where’s my road?

I walk Downtown mixing with busy souls

I am in no hurry; the masses don’t carry me:

I am a leader and I am searching for my way.

 

I rest a while on the pavement; is it illegal?

I rest my eating tin plate by my side;

I learned to recognize the chimes of dimes and nickels falling in the plate

I don’t complain; I say thanks when I feel reprieve tired of my condition.

 

I am a downgraded gypsy who burned his caravan

Quit my clan, lured by greed in the city.

I extend my arms, feeling for a sheltered wall

What’s a clear stream to a blind deer?

What’s horizon to a caged bird?

My ears learned to screen off piercing sounds

I can’t hear the wailing of bereaved mothers

I can’t hear the howling of frenzied mobs

 

I hear the moaning of latent pains permeating the smog

I hear the soft whistling of permanent suffering

Converging from all directions

From far away scorched lands.

 

Slaves chewed off their chains:

They are nostalgic for chains smelling molding bread.

Up north terrors; down south famine;

Dusty winds are clouding the east; and crows are obscuring the western horizon.

 

A little girl is sitting by this modern gypsy;

She dips her left small hand in a little bag and takes out a handful of dirt;

She grabs the dirt containing a strange specimen of earth wealth;

Dirt holding half a wing of a butterfly, a decapitated bee,

Shreds of shrapnel of cluster bombs,

A whiff of blood, a stench of urine;

 

Concentrated dirt of fear, human degradation,

Contaminated greed of a dying earth.

No more revolutions, no drastic changes,

No activities demanding eternal God given human rights;

Mankind is on his knees, in abject humiliation

Begging pardon of his executioner

For the swiftest relief.

Note: I borrowed a few images from the late Syrian poet Mohammad al Maghout.

Time says: “My story of eagle and storm”; (Apr. 28, 2010)

Waiting for the storm to hit

How could they cope with a storm?

What could they do in the desert?

Where is the storm?

It is on the horizon, hesitating?

A tramp at the hotel entrance.

Old eagle, maybe the last of his species,

Lonely, quiet, waiting for the storm,

A chauffeur waiting for his master.

Old eagle is tired of tasting occasional serene clouds,

An old chef tasting the remains of a banquet.

Queen storm is taking her time in front of the mirror.

Old eagle is ready to chase out the storm up front;

What could an eagle could do with a worn out beak,

Decrepit and turned straight from frequent shattering on rocks.

How could old eagle hurry to meet the storm

A tottering bicycle crossing river bed?

For years, old eagle’s white feathers have been dirty,

Dirtier than an old waiter’s apron.

A gentle breeze nudging old eagle from rock to rock

From plain to plain

A bored old soldier in a camp

Anxious for his last battle, confronting a fly.

A soothing breeze floated over old eagle;

He fluttered, a youth touched by the first girl,

Old eagle heaves a sigh; he is reminiscing youth

Strong wings spanning the valley, glittering with sweat.

Tiny birds, out of breath, trailing valiantly behind,

Mobs running after the King’s horse

Chants hoarse, hallelujah feeble.

Old eagle is back dozing, sun scorching, epoch stretching out.

Suddenly, the universe blackened;

The world is still, but old eagle’s tail is waving.

Old eagle is hopping in circle,

A baby lamb welcoming its mother.

The storm thundered and hastened,

An ice skater showing off.

Old eagle is whispering an old victory song;

An eagle fallen off mountain tops,

A bride with no pendants and no cries.

Old eagle opened his old beak and retreated,

In respect of his old master and teacher.

Old eagle is spinning amid his broken plumes,

His shouts clacking like rifle bullets

A mass of blood, proudly lecturing

On the art of thirsting and ripping apart enemies.

The storm danced around old eagle and sneaked away.

Old eagle is mad; he is jumping cat like,

A scared baby stumbling for the door knob,

A drunkard coming back in the bar

Kicked out a hundred times.

Old eagle is wailing like a baby.

The storm lost steam on the sea shore,

Medals and crowns scattered’

The bludgeoned face of a boxer,

A drunk washing his face.

Mighty storm is aching:

It recollects that a tiny creature fought to death.

Mighty storm is sprawled on the beach:

A monstrous tent shrinking to a headgear,

Tears dropping in eagle’s shape.

Note 1: A liberal translation from a poem by late Syrian poet Mohammad al Maghout

Note 2: Though Mohammad al Maghout published this poem in early 1990, a few thought that it referred to the failed US invasion of Iraq in 2003

“Happiness is Not my job” April 27, 2010

Am I a redundant citizen?

So far, I was not killed in wars,

Civil wars, earthquakes, or road kill.

What now? What am I to do with my life?

 

Years ahead of me undulating

Unlimited sea to the pelican;

Is my future already traced

A duck drawn on a class board?

 

Am I to express my dreams in whisper

And groping around

Or am I to let my dreams run down

Rubber liquid, glue seeping off equatorial trees?

 

I am a crackling wall, I am crumbling

Masons, builders fetch a stone

Prop me up quick

Glacier warming up, cliffing;

Let in virgin forest fresh air

My chest is compressed, poisoned in filth and despair;

 

I wish badly my many motherlands

Turnover as fast as nude dancers;

Crows swooping away

A pair of wings for a kingdom

I want to visit the dying

I want to turn time around

A child carelessly putting fire to his world

 

Years passed by

Didn’t play with a toy

Didn’t grab a blanket

Didn’t cry for a shattered land.

Note:  A few images borrowed from the late Syrian poet Mohammad al Maghout.

Downgraded Gypsy; (Apr. 17, 2010)

I am a hero… Where’s my people?

I am a traitor… Where’s my scaffold?

I am a pair of shoes… Where’s my road?

I walk Downtown mixing with busy souls

I am in no hurry; the masses don’t carry me:

I am a leader and I am searching for my way.

I rest a while on the pavement; is it illegal?

I rest my eating tin plate by my side;

I learned to recognize the chimes of dimes and nickels falling in the plate

I don’t complain; I say thanks when I feel reprieve, tired of my condition.

 

I am a downgraded gypsy who burned his caravan

Quitted my clan, lured by greed in the city.

I extend my arms feeling for a sheltered wall

What’s a clear stream to a blind deer?

What’s horizon to a caged bird?

My ears learned to screen off piercing sounds

I can’t hear the wailing of bereaved mothers

I can’t hear the howling of frenzied mobs

I hear the moaning of latent pains permeating the smog

I hear the soft whistling of permanent suffering

Converging from all directions

From far away, scorched lands.

 

Slaves chewed off their chains:

They are nostalgic for chains smelling moulding bread.

Up north terrors; down south famine;

Dusty winds are clouding the east; and crows are obscuring the western horizon.

 

A little girl is sitting by this modern gypsy;

She dips her left small hand in a little bag and takes out a handful of dirt;

She grabs the dirt containing a strange specimen of earth wealth;

Dirt holding half a wing of a butterfly, a decapitated bee,

Shreds of shrapnel of cluster bombs,

A whiff of blood, a stench of urine.

 

Concentrated dirt of fear, human degradation,

Contaminated greed of a dying earth.

No more revolutions, no drastic changes,

No activities demanding eternal God given human rights;

Mankind is on his knees, in abject humiliation

Begging pardon of his executioner

For the swiftest relief.

Note 1: I borrowed a few images from the late Syrian poet Mohammad al Maghout.

Note 2: Mohammad al Maghout passed away in the 90’s, but this poem matches the current Syrian conditions

I wore down the postman; (Apr. 23, 2010)

Political prisoners mail me: They are scared, bored, and helpless.

Small fishermen mail me: Their nests are empty and the sea dying.

Peasants and rice growers mail me:

Their stomachs are blotted and nails plugged out.

I receive mails from the disheartened

From every corner on Earth, even from wealthy and prosperous nations

They all know my address

They got wind of my top secret project:

I am gathering a damning monstrous file

On mankind sufferings, pains, and humiliation;

I am mailing this file to their merciful God.

The hungry and trampled mankind has signed up

With their cracked lips and dirty fingerprints.

I did wear down the postman and the postmaster.

The downtrodden of mankind is poor but no dumb:

He still refuses to put all his eggs in one basket.

God may turn out to be illiterate after all;

We obeyed his message anyway: Learn to read and write he warned us.

The greedy own the scaffold; we own the neck.

They wear pearls; we wear warts.

They have the day and the night; we have the bones and the skin.

They eat in the shadow; we saw and harvest at noon.

Their teeth are whiter than rice; ours are smoke stained.

Their chests are silky clean; ours dusty as execution court yards.

Their pockets are stuffed with lists of traitors and disturbers of the peace:

Ours bulge with pamphlets and remonstrance.

The greedy have windows; we are the wind and thunder.

They own ships; we are the waves and tides.

They wear fur and medals; we throw dirt and mud.

They built walls; we are the rope and ladders.

The God of the downtrodden may turn out to be illiterate.

We were highly suspicious of His qualifications:

His cultivated messages never coincided with his actions and practices.

Postmen are worn out distributing complaints

Of literate subjects out of jobs, out of subject matter;

I am hearing the ground growling.

Note: Borrowed many images from the Syrian poet and author Mohammad al Maghout.

Why blogs appoint “moderators” for censuring comments? Censuring of free expressions is applied in social platforms?

I am plagued by this problem: blogs subscribe to mine and urgently ask me to publish in their blogs and then I have to face “moderators” to allow my posts and even comments to be published.  And I wondered: “What’s the point of appointing moderators unless your intention is to screen out expressions and opinions not framing well within “political” views and purposes?”  Mind you, a blog will be restricted to poems and yet moderators will banish your poems on political grounds! I had to suffer this ridiculous anomaly and indignity and had to published my experience.

Before posting my recent experience with social platform censorship, let me repost my prior experience with “Poetic”  censorship

I published a liberal translation of an epic poem by late Syrian poet Mohammad al Maghout.

I gave it the title “Face-off:  Gilgamesh and the Storm”.  It was written over 30 years ago; way before Desert Storm on Iraq in 1991 or the recent 2003 invasion.

I was invited by a new site, with only four members, to contribute poems.

After “approving” a dozen poems and commenting laudatory on them, the “administrator” or “moderator”  in other sites amazed me by demanding clarification on this particular poem:  He wanted to know if this poem refers to American soldiers! First, it might relevant to read the poem to comprehend my dismay.

“Waiting for the storm to hit

How could anyone cope with a storm?

What could you do in a desert storm?

Where is the storm?

It is on the horizon, hesitating;

A tramp at the hotel entrance.

Old eagle Gilgamesh, maybe the last of his species,

Lonely, quiet, waiting for the desert storm;

A chauffeur waiting for his master.

Old eagle is tired of tasting occasional serene clouds;

An old chef tasting the remains of a banquet.

Queen storm is taking her time in front of the mirror.

Old eagle is ready to chase out the storm up front;

What could he do with a worn out beak?

Decrepit and turned straight from frequent shattering to pieces on rocks.

How could old eagle hurry to meet the storm?

A tottering bicycle crossing river bed?

For years, old eagle’s white feathers have been dirty;

Dirtier than an old waiter’s apron.

A gentle breeze nudging old eagle from rock to rock,

From plain to plain;

A bored old soldier in a camp

Anxious for his last battle, confronting a fly.

A soothing breeze floated over old eagle;

He fluttered, a youth touched by the first girl.

Old eagle heaves a sigh; he is reminiscing youth

Strong wings spanning the valley, glittering with sweat.

Tiny birds, out of breath, trailing valiantly behind,

Mobs running after the King’s horse,

Chants hoarse, hallelujah feeble.

Old eagle is back dozing, in the scorching sun;

Epoch stretching out.

Suddenly, the universe blackened;

The world is still;

So still that the silence created religions out of fear;

Old eagle’s tail is waving.

Old eagle is hopping in circle;

A baby lamb welcoming its mother.

The storm thundered and hastened;

An ice skater showing off.

Old eagle is whispering an old victory song;

An eagle fallen off mountain tops,

A bride with no pendants and no cries.

Old eagle opened his old beak and retreated

In respect of his old master and teacher.

Old eagle is spinning amid his broken plumes,

His shouts clacking like rifle bullets

A mass of blood proudly lecturing

On the art of thirsting and ripping apart enemies.

The storm danced around old eagle and sneaked away.

Old eagle is mad; he is jumping cat-like;

A frightened baby stumbling for the door knob;

A drunkard coming back in the bar

Kicked out a hundred times and coming back.

Old eagle is wailing like a baby.

The storm lost steam on the sea-shore,

Medals and crowns scattered.

The bludgeoned face of a boxer;

A drunk washing his face.

Mighty storm is aching:

It recollects that a tiny creature fought to death.

Mighty storm is sprawled on the beach:

A monstrous tent shrinking to a headgear;

Tears dropping in eagle’s shape.” End of poem

I replied that this story is about the epic struggle of mankind against calamities; natural and man-made.  I insisted that the eagle does not represent a symbol to any State or tribe, religion, or any culture.

I had a mind to ask this tight administrator what, in the animal kingdom, is convenient for his imagination to confront a storm. I received no reply and the poem was not posted on the site.

Excellent poets perceive invariants in human history and rephrase them in indelible images.  Consequently, I changed the title according to the perception of this infamous site.

After approving another half a dozen of my poems, this non-poetic administrator felt beyond himself reading this poem: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/puny-avatar-why-in-the-name-of-god/

This poem was approved, and then immediately, the site “suspended” me without providing reasons.

It is to be noted that the site never presented any constraints beforehand for joining or the kind of poems “satisfactory” to their “ideology”.

Now to the next moderator.  A blog subscribed to my blog.  I checked it out and left a comment on one of its pieces, and added a thank you note for patronizing my blog.

I went on with another developed comment on another piece that lambasted Friedman for his position on current undemocratic Israel political climate.

My comment was: “How many Mosques have to be burned down before Your blog consent that this is a trend in Israel political climate?  How many new colonies and settlements have to be built before your blog admit that it is becoming a cause to resistance and not just a consequence as you claim?”

I faced this statement: “Waiting for moderator approval before posting…”.  I immediately replied: “Why do you need a moderator to censure free expressions”?

Again, the same waiting for moderator green light that never materialized…

Face off: Gilgamesh against Storm

Important note: This is a liberal translation of an epic poem by late Syrian poet Mohammad al Maghout.  It was written over 30 years ago; way before Desert Storm on Iraq in 1991.

I sent this poem to a new site (opened last month with only four members) that invited me to join and share my poems.  After “approving” a dozen poems and commenting laudatory on them, the “administrator ” amazed me by demanding clarification:  He wanted to know if this poem refers to American soldiers!  I replied that this story is about the epic struggle of mankind against calamities; natural and man-made.

I insisted that the eagle does not represent a symbol to any State or tribe, religion, or any culture.  I have a mind to ask this tight administrator what in the animal kingdom is convenient for his imagination to fight a storm. I received no reply and the poem was not shown on the site.

Excellent poets perceive invariants in human history and rephrase them in indelible images.

Epic story of Storm and Old Eagle

Waiting for the storm to hit

How could anyone cope with a storm?

What could you do in a desert storm?

Where is the storm?

It is on the horizon, hesitating;

A tramp at the hotel entrance.

Old eagle, maybe the last of his species,

Lonely, quiet, waiting for the storm;

A chauffeur waiting for his master.

Old eagle is tired of tasting occasional serene clouds;

An old chef tasting the remains of a banquet.

Queen storm is taking her time in front of the mirror.

Old eagle is ready to chase out the storm up front;

What could he do with a worn out beak?

Decrepit and turned straight from frequent shattering to pieces on rocks.

How could old eagle hurry to meet the storm?

A tottering bicycle crossing river bed?

For years, old eagle’s white feathers have been dirty;

Dirtier than an old waiter’s apron.

A gentle breeze nudging old eagle from rock to rock,

From plain to plain;

A bored old soldier in a camp

Anxious for his last battle, confronting a fly.

A soothing breeze floated over old eagle;

He fluttered, a youth touched by the first girl.

Old eagle heaves a sigh; he is reminiscing youth

Strong wings spanning the valley, glittering with sweat.

Tiny birds, out of breath, trailing valiantly behind,

Mobs running after the King’s horse,

Chants hoarse, hallelujah feeble.

Old eagle is back dozing, in the scorching sun;

Epoch stretching out.

Suddenly, the universe blackened;

The world is still;

So still that the silence created religions out of fear;

Old eagle’s tail is waving.

Old eagle is hopping in circle;

A baby lamb welcoming its mother.

The storm thundered and hastened;

An ice skater showing off.

Old eagle is whispering an old victory song;

An eagle fallen off mountain tops,

A bride with no pendants and no cries.

Old eagle opened his old beak and retreated

In respect of his old master and teacher.

Old eagle is spinning amid his broken plumes,

His shouts clacking like rifle bullets

A mass of blood proudly lecturing

On the art of thirsting and ripping apart enemies.

The storm danced around old eagle and sneaked away.

Old eagle is mad; he is jumping cat-like;

A frightened baby stumbling for the door knob;

A drunkard coming back in the bar

Kicked out a hundred times and coming back.

Old eagle is wailing like a baby.

The storm lost steam on the sea-shore,

Medals and crowns scattered.

The bludgeoned face of a boxer;

A drunk washing his face.

Mighty storm is aching:

It recollects that a tiny creature fought to death.

Mighty storm is sprawled on the beach:

A monstrous tent shrinking to a headgear;

Tears dropping in eagle’s shape.

Note: After approving another half a dozen of my poems I sent this unpoetic voice site the following poem: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/puny-avatar-why-in-the-name-of-god/

It was approved and then immediately the site “suspended” me without providing reasons.

It is to be noted that the site never presented any constraints beforehand for joining or the kind of poems “satisfactory” to their “ideology”.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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